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Case Study: Online Voting for the Stakeholders of Photonics21

Photonics21, a public-private partnership program for optical methods from the VDI Technology Centre in Dusseldorf, opted to elect their representatives online. The panel of stakeholders is the central decision-making body of Photonics21 and can contain up to 100 representatives or stakeholders.

Between October 19 to November 2, 2015, 335 eligible voters elected their candidates for the "Board of Stakeholders" online.
The stakeholder election took place in two stages: In the first round, the institutions were able to nominate their candidates standing for election while the second involved the wider electorate.

With online elections, the Photonics21 was able to reach a turnout of 74 percent.

Vote online from anywhere

Photonics21 is represented as an interdisciplinary network of companies and research institutes across Europe. As voters were spread out across a wide area, it made sense for them to conduct an election online. An election independent of a physial location was a key factor in voting with POLYAS. This is the reason why online voting was the only process they offered their electorate.

The electoral director, Katharina Flaig-Rüttgers explains the decision to opt for an online election at Photonics21 as a logical consequence:

"As our members are spread all over Europe, it is logistically better and easier to carry out an online election."

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The future lies within online voting

For the online election, Photonics21 has changed their election status and adopted online elections as their legally valid election process.
Since the introduction of the new electoral code, research institutes and companies have voted exclusively online.

The research group was able to motivate its members and reached an impressive turnout of 74 percent.

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Easy election management for the research network

Photonics21 were extremely satisfied with the election and continue to manage their elections with POLYAS. The costs and speed issues surrounding the shipping of election documents can be eliminated by switching to online elections.

Voters were satisfied with the online election: "since amending of the statutes, our entire membership can elect the board, we have carried out online elections,". In subsequent elections, members of the research network will be able to vote online.